Elijah Busby, b. 1831, d. 1917

Elijah Busby, now living retired on section 3, White Oak township, is one of the old settlers of Mahaska county, who for years was a prosperous agriculturist and for nearly two decades owned and operated a farm in Adams township. Later he removed to Monroe township and now makes his home in White Oak township. He dates his residence in the county from 1852. A native of Ohio, he was born in Carroll county, November 17, 1831. His father, John W. Busby. was born in Harrison county, Ohio, and was a son of John Busby, a native of Maryland, who became one of the first settlers of Harrison county, Ohio. The father, there born and reared, was married to Miss Anna Merryman. a native of Maryland. They removed to Carroll county, Ohio, where Mr. Busby opened up a new farm in the midst of the forest, developing a good property and there rearing his family. He died upon the old homestead there, survived by his wife for a few years. In the family were the following children: Johnson, who same year; Abe; Elijah; Agnes; Elizabeth; John; Thomas, a soldier of the Civil war, now died in 1905; Jackson, who passed away in the deceased; Isaac; Aaron; Samuel, who died in infancy; Julia Ann; and Mary and Rachel, who died in infancy. Elijah Busby was reared to farm life in Carroll county, Ohio, working in the fields and meadows through the summer months, while in the winter seasons he attended the public schools. In the spring of 1852 he came to Iowa, settling in Mahaska county, where he worked as a farm hand for several years, at first receiving only ten dollars per month. He was married in this county on the 3Oth of April, 1857, to Miss Eliza Ann Bass, a sister of Robert Bass, who is mentioned elsewhere in this work. Mrs. Busby was born in Bartholomew county, Indiana, and was brought to Iowa in her girlhood days. Following their marriage Mr. Busby rented a tract of land for a few years, after which he entered eighty acres in Madison county and also bought an adjoining tract of eighty acres. During the war he sold that property and invested in eighty acres of land in Adams township, on which he made his home for seventeen years, but his active farm labor was interrupted by his service in the Civil war. In the fall of 1861 he enlisted in the Union army, joining Company F. Fourth Iowa Cavalry, with which he went to Springfield, Missouri, and later to Arkansas. He was first under fire at Cottonplant and subsequently was in the engagement and afterward on duty at Vicksburg. He was captured at Bear Creek and, being sent to Libby prison, was there incarcerated until the fall of 1863, when he was paroled and went to Benton Barracks, St. Louis, Missouri. He rejoined his regiment at Vicksburg and after re-enlisting as a veteran he was granted a furlough and returned home in the fall of 1863. He spent a month with his family, during which time he sold his farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Madison county and bought eighty acres in Adams township. On the expiration of his furlough he returned to the army and remained with his regiment until the close of the war, being mustered out at Atlanta and receiving an honorable discharge at Davenport. Iowa, in July, 1865. He returned with a creditable military record, having ever been faithful and loyal to the cause which he espoused and doing active service on various battlefields. He was in ten skirmishes. Mr. Busby resumed farming in Adams township where he cultivated and improved his land. He erected good buildings there, cleared and broke about forty acres and fenced re. As time passed he developed an excellent property and there continued in active farming for seventeen years, when he sold out and bought a farm in Monroe township, comprising nearly two hundred acres. This be also began to further improve and he erected there a good barn together with various out- buildings for the shelter of grain and stock. There was a good house upon the place and he divided the land into fields of convenient size by well kept fences. He lived for seventeen years upon that property, after which he rented the place and removed to Rose Hill, where he purchased a tract of eight acres. He then repaired and added to the house and he now gives his attention to gardening and to keeping up his place, which is very neat and thrifty in appearance. He started in Iowa with no capital, but possessed strong and determined purpose and upon that quality as a foundation builded his success. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Busby have been born six children, three sons and three daughters: William L., who is now engaged in the practice of medicine in Delta, Iowa; John R.. who is mentioned elsewhere in this work; Homer E., a lawyer of Fort Dodge; Alice, the wife of J. W. Thomas, a lawyer and real-estate dealer of Fort Dodge; Emma, the wife of Jared Brown, a resident farmer of Monroe township, Mahaska county; and Lena, the wife of George W. VanNest, of Keokuk county. In his political views Mr. Busby was a republican for a long period but later gave his support to the Greenback party and is now a Roosevelt populist. He served as justice of the peace in Adams township and also township trustee there and for many years has been a member of the school board. He has frequently been a delegate to the conventions of his party and is interested in righteous management of county affairs along political lines. He belongs to the Grand Army post and his wife is a member of the Methodist church. Mr. Busby is one of the few remaining early settlers of Mahaska county and also of the veterans of the Civil war. He has led an active and honorable life crowned with successful accomplishment and Mahaska county has benefited by his labors. He and his esteemed wife are now living in honorable retirement, enjoying the rest that has been so well earned and richly deserved.


from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906

Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa

Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy

Iowa Genealogy

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